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Private poker room proposal in Nederland leads to questions

NEDERLAND — The same questions residents around Nederland are asking about a proposed private poker room opening in the city are shared by city council members.

Let’s answer some of the questions asked at this week’s meeting.

  • Do you have to rezone?

A private poker club is not listed in the table of uses for different zoning options in Nederland. The designation could be added to the zoning ordinance, a specific use permit could be adopted with special requirements or the Council could choose to say the poker club is not allowed to operate.

  • Will they actually be playing poker and cutting the pot?

Texas Poker Club owner Lane Helveston told The Port Arthur News his operation does not take any percentage from the poker games played in his establishment. He simply provides the venue.

  • How are they supposed to make their money?

According to Nederland City Manager Chris Duque, poker clubs generally charge membership for patrons to enter the establishment and for use of the seating provided.

  • Is there another poker club in the area?

Helveston has operated Texas Poker Club on Texas Highway 105 in Beaumont for approximately 15 months.

  • Where would this be in Nederland?

3503 Nederland Avenue, Suite C.

  • How do you know what to tax?

This was asked by a councilman Monday, but was not answered. City staff members say the process is very much in the beginning stages with a public hearing scheduled Oct. 14 at city hall. Business representatives, city leaders and community members are expected to ask and answer questions and provide input on the proposed venue during this time. A council vote on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 28.